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Medicinal Chemistry & Pharmacology

Overview

Medicinal Chemistry & Pharmacology Division is actively engaged in developing affordable therapeutics for human ailments particularly relevant for Indian scenario. The division has expertise in the areas spanning a wide spectrum of drug discovery including in-silico drug design, green chemical synthesis, biological testing, microbiology, pharmacokinetics-pharmacodynamics, animal model studies and toxicity evaluations. In addition, there is extensive co-operation with the molecular modeling and chemical biology divisions for advancing the drug discovery programs. While the main focus is on the development of affordable cancer therapeutics, drugs for neglected tropical diseases such as Tuberculosis, Malaria and life style diseases such as obesity, diabetes and hypertension are also being designed and developed at the division.

In an effort to develop greener processes, extensive work was carried out in this Division on the development of bioprocesses and chemoenzymatic processes particularly for the drugs and their intermediates, apart from chiral separations. These activities led to the establishment of Biotechnology Incubation Centre [BTIC] at Biotech Park and Pre-Biotechnology Process Generator [PBPG] at this Institute. The microbial oxidation of tridecane to brassylic acid was developed in collaboration with Indan Oil Corporation (IOC) in the division. Biocatalytic processes for oxidation of 3-fluorobenzene to 3-fluorocatechol as well as regioselective hydrolysis of 1-cyanocyclohexane acetonitrile to 1-cyanocyclohexane acetic acid (intermediate for the synthesis of gabapentane, an antiepileptic drug) were designed and developed for Acoris Research Ltd., Pune. In addition, microbial nitrilase-catalyzed process for the hydrolytic conversion of acrylonitrile to acrylic acid was developed in co-operation with Pidilite.

Recently, this Division was awarded a prestigious project on the "Development of Second Generation Biofuels" by the Joint Clean Energy Research and Development Centre [JCERDC] under Indo-US Consortium. This Consortium has eleven partners including two industry partners. CSIR-IICT is the lead institute for implementing this project by achieving the envisaged targets. The successful completion of the project is expected to benefit both the countries by delivering a working model for feedstock production and supply, biochemical conversion approaches and technologies that have been validated on pre-commercial scale systems and the overall economics and sustainability of biofuel production and supply systems.

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